Print this article

Amati Announces New Strategic Innovation Fund

Amanda Cheesley

10 May 2022

Amati Global Investors, a specialist asset management boutique, has announced the launch of its TB Amati Strategic Innovation Fund, after receiving regulatory approval.

It expects to launch the new fund on 23 May 2022, preceded by an initial offer period which started on 9 May, the firm said in a statement. The fund will adopt a broader, more balanced approach to innovation investing, not simply focusing on high growth opportunities, which have yet to achieve sustained profitability and cash generation, but also on more mature and higher quality business models that benefit from enabling and adopting innovation, Amati said. This will broaden the opportunity set, balance fundamental risk in the portfolio, and help to protect investors from the kind of volatility experienced by some growth and innovation stocks over the past year, the firm added.

With an active share likely to be above 90 per cent, and populated by non-consensus ideas, the fund, which has a long-term investment approach, will invest in a high conviction portfolio of 30 to 50 global equities – pioneers, enablers, and adopters of innovation, Amati said. The managers will adopt a ‘go anywhere,’ all cap, multi sector and style agnostic approach, but will most likely guide investors to growth and away from mega-caps, towards sectors more typically associated with innovation – technology, healthcare, and industrials included – powered by a bottom-up search for 'innovation frontiers' and companies best positioned to benefit from such innovation, the firm added.

The new fund will be managed by Mikhail Zverev, Graeme Bencke and Dr Gareth Blades, three experienced investors, with complementary track records and skill sets, Amati said.

Zverev, who worked alongside Amati CEO, Dr Paul Jourdan, at First State Investments from 2002 to 2007, has managed global equity teams and funds at both Standard Life Investments and Aviva Investors. He joined Amati in February 2022.

Bencke, who started out with F&C Asset Management in 1997, managed global equity team and funds at PineBridge Investments. He joined Amati this month. Most recently, he has been working with Torvius Capital, an advisory and consulting firm, advising early stage, start-up businesses in emerging technology sectors on strategy, development, and investor relations, Amati said.

Blades, meanwhile, joined Amati in 2019. He has broad expertise across healthcare, from idea generation through to commercialisation developed over years working in corporate finance, consulting, and hands-on business building, the firm added. His academic work, which complements this, spans biochemistry, nanotechnology, and neuroscience.

“Through our work with the UK Smaller Companies Fund and our AIM Venture Capital Trust, we enjoy deep relationships with companies at the leading edge of these innovative industries,” Zverev said. “This enables us to identify promising areas of innovation, to assess the value of that innovation, and to build an understanding of the global ecosystem that is involved in, and which benefits from such innovation. This intellectual and research synergy creates a powerful advantage which we will look to leverage for our global equity clients,” he added. 

“Innovation can be a significant differentiator to the success of any business, and it has been frequently undervalued by investors. I believe our approach will enable us to capture this opportunity for our clients in the global equity asset class, consistent with our desire to construct class-leading investment products which remain fit for purpose and that investors can hold over the longer term,” Dr Paul Jourdan, Amati founder and CEO said.

The Edinburgh based firm is a specialist asset management boutique, with a predominant focus on UK small and mid-cap companies, managing four investment vehicles, with £1.2 billion ($1.48 billion) under management as of 31 March 2022.